Pictures taken from protests against China’s zero-Covid policy across the mainland are now for sale on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, as non-fungible tokens (NFT)

See related article: ‘Voice of April’ NFTs highlight Shanghai struggles amid lockdown 

Fast facts

  • A Polygon-based NFT collection of 135 photos titled “Silent Speech” captures the protests with a starting bid of 0.01 ETH (US$11.74) in a seven-day auction that started on Sunday. 
  • Another NFT collection, Blank Paper Movement, consists of 24 stylized images mainly featuring crowds of protesters holding blank papers, symbolizing suppression of free speech. The Ethereum-based NFTs had a floor price of 10 Ether (US$11,720) at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Hong Kong time.  
  • Protests erupted after a deadly fire last Thursday in Urumqi, the capital city of China’s northwestern province Xinjiang, as citizens subsequently rushed to the streets and the internet to voice their anger and doubts about zero-Covid lockdowns.
  • The city’s government placed some blame for the tragedy on the victims’ inability to save themselves, which accelerated the expansion of the protests. 
  • Over the weekend, massive protests broke out in the streets of China’s major cities, including Urumqi, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Guangzhou.
  • As of 6 p.m. on Sunday, Hong Kong time, students in at least 79 universities in 15 Chinese provinces have reportedly engaged in public protests or small-scale mournings, according to Initium Media.

See related article: Bitcoin price follows slide in Asia equity markets amid growing China protests against Covid-19 lockdowns